NWI Veterans Village Opens

NWI vets village

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, and Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson today officially opened the North West Indiana (NWI) Veterans Village supportive housing project.

NWI vets village3

Mayor Karen Marie Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana, welcomes veterans & their families to the opening of NWI Veterans Village

CSH director in Indiana, Lori Phillips-Steele, joined Secretary McDonald, Mayor Freeman-Wilson and Lt. Governor Holcomb on the dais and noted the Village is the first supportive housing in the country to receive funding, in the form of a pre-development loan, from the CSH Supportive Housing Solutions Fund.

The estimated $10.1 million Village includes 44 units of supportive housing for Veterans, along with a computer room, exercise room, roof garden, and a restaurant that will be open to the public and serve as a training ground for those interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts.

Broadway Area CDC is the developer of this blockbuster project.

Broadway completed the Indiana Supportive Housing Institute in 2011, sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and supported by CSH, and has created attractive and much-needed apartments for those who served our country.

CSH Indiana's Lori Phillips-Steele joins Gary Mayor Freeman-Wilson at NWI Veterans Village

CSH Indiana’s Lori Phillips-Steele joins Gary Mayor Freeman-Wilson and Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb at the celebration of the new NWI Veterans Village

Penn Place Opens in Indy

305_Kelsey and Tenant_16As the temperatures dropped low enough in Indianapolis for outreach workers to scour the streets in search of people sleeping outside to invite indoors, a new supportive housing development named Penn Place opened to serve people facing chronic homelessness and those who are frequent users of emergency services.

This 38-unit housing first apartment complex is the story of a large group of committed partners collaborating to identify and house the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.

This robust team includes BWI Development, Insight Development, Indianapolis Housing Agency, Eskenazi Health Midtown Mental Health and Pedigo Health Center, Horizon House, The Pour House, The Indianapolis Housing Task Force, the Professionally Blended Outreach team,  the Indianapolis Continuum of Care and CSH.

Dr. Dennis Watson of the Center for Health Policy at IUPUI, in partnership with the Midwest Harm Reduction Institute, is delivering training and technical assistance services to Penn Place as part of a federally funded study. CSH is providing on-going technical assistance.

Special thanks to the funders supporting this community partnership including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (FHLBI) and their member bank Merchants, IHCDA, the equity partner PNC, Indianapolis Housing Agency, HUD, the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Continuum of Care (CoC) , and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.

Penn Place is truly a community effort – one that ensures barriers to a stable home are eliminated for those who have faced extreme challenges and trauma. We celebrate the partnerships that made it possible and the bright future for those who are finding new lives in their very own apartments.

Please click here to read more.

Penn Place offers new home for Indy’s homeless

Former motel redeveloped into 38 apartments for those who had been living on the streets

Michael Gables is not a big coffee drinker, but one of the first things he bought when he moved into his new apartment was a coffeepot from a church rummage sale.

“You got to have a coffeepot,” he said

Spread out on his small dining table next to two small plants is a newspaper he was reading before visitors arrived. It’s a habit. Even when he lived in the woods, he would often pick up a daily newspaper to read.

In case his guests misunderstood, “the woods” was not an apartment complex, he said. It was, in fact, the woods.

On Jan. 19, Gables moved into a corner apartment on the second floor of the new Penn Place development at 1415 N. Pennsylvania St. Before that? “I was in a halfway house for a couple months, and before that, I was living in the great outdoors for about two years,” said the former heating and air-conditioning technician.

The great outdoors. Gables is funny like that. At 61, he’s seen a lot, made some mistakes. Living in the great outdoors wasn’t always so great, he’ll tell you. But here he is now. Housed in a clean, comfortable, modern apartment with health and social services just steps away.

Read more.

Indiana Legislature Moving to Help Homeless

CSH and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) appeared today before members of the Indiana House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs to urge passage of Indiana House Bill 1380. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Donna Harris and co-authored by Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, Rep. John Bartlett, and Rep. David Frizzell, establishes the Indiana housing first program to provide housing and support services for eligible homeless persons. The Committee approved the bill 10-0.

In this photo image, CSH joins IHCDA and Rep Harris (center, red jacket) to celebrate passage of the bill.

In this photo image, CSH joins IHCDA and Rep Harris (center, red jacket) to celebrate passage of the bill.

2016 Indiana Supportive Housing Institute RFP

CSH is excited to announce its seventh Indiana Supportive Housing Institute (“The 2016 Institute”).  To date, the first six Institutes have graduated teams that now have over 1400 supportive housing units underway throughout Indiana.

The 2016 Institute will address creating supportive housing to meet the needs of persons experiencing chronic homelessness, persons with high medical vulnerability, frequent users of emergency systems of care, and families experiencing homelessness – as further defined within the 2016 IPSHI RFP.

CSH and IHCDA will provide an Institute Orientation webinar for prospective RFP respondents on November 6, 2015 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. EST.
here to register for this webinar.

The 2016 Institute will help supportive housing partners learn how to navigate the complex process of developing housing with support services and is expected to reduce the time it takes to obtain funding for supportive housing by improving the planning and development processes.  Consideration will be given to both integrated housing (with 25% of the housing set aside for supportive housing) and 100% supportive housing developments.

The 2016 Institute will provide targeted training, technical assistance, and the opportunity to apply for pre-development financing to both new and experienced development teams.

Teams will receive over 80 hours of training including individualized technical assistance and resources to assist in completing their projects.  In addition, industry experts, including staff from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) , will provide insight on property management, financing, and building design.

Please review the Indiana Permanent Supportive Housing Institute Request for Proposals prior to completing the Institute Application.

Questions: If you have questions, please contact Megan Maxwell-Ranjbar at 317-632-5874 or megan.maxwell-ranjbar@csh.org.

Supportive Housing Advocate Ray Lay

Ray Lay is congratulated by CSH staff: Megan Maxwell-Ranjbar, Lori Phillips-Steele, and Katrina Van Valkenburgh

Ray Lay is congratulated by CSH staff: Megan Maxwell-Ranjbar, Lori Phillips-Steele, and Katrina Van Valkenburgh

Ray Lay, one of our trainers in the CSH-embraced Indiana Supportive Housing Institute, was honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Indiana chapter at their 30th Anniversary 2015 State Conference, “Accessing the Past, Gaining Hope for the Future.”

Ray received the Patricia Wheaton Award, which is presented to a person living with mental illness who displays exemplary courage in recovery, education and helping others to understand and overcome mental illness.

NAMI Indiana noted: “Ray’s passion for reaching all who may be touched by mental illness shines through our work together. His generous gifts of time, expertise, and lived experience as an In Our Voice Presenter, Indiana Certified Recovery Specialist, Veterans Affairs Certified Peer Support Specialist and Indiana Department of Corrections speaker are changing lives every day.”

Ray was recently named to NAMI Indiana’s Board of Directors.

“Ray has been instrumental in helping CSH build peer support into our supportive housing institute and our work with teams.  He encourages people with lived experience to get certified as Peer recovery specialists.  He also is on the state’s CoC board as a tenant representative.  Ray has an incredible spirit and enthusiasm about his work that is contagious.  Ray has worked with us to strengthen our linkages with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction.  He reads all of the latest research and information about supportive housing funding and policy, and makes key policy and funder connections. Ray is a people-person who excels at identifying and linking people who should be working together.”  Lori Phillips-Steele, CSH Director in Indiana


OSF Grants $150,000 to CSH for FUSE Replication

OSFThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) U.S. Programs initiative supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. OSF works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grant-making and other activities include:

  • The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies,
  • Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.

OSF’s recent contribution of $150,000 to CSH to promote a scaled replication and the sustainability of the FUSE (Frequent Users/Utilizers Systems Engagement) model will help ensure that more people leaving our jails and prisons will have a real chance to become a part of the communities in which they live. Because of the generosity of OSF and others, CSH is able to recreate FUSE in more communities across the country.

FUSE is a CSH signature accomplishment that helps communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing in order to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services, shelters, and the criminal justice system. In the FUSE model, supportive housing serves to smooth the transition from institution to community, promoting a transformation that serves those released from jails and prisons, and the general population, by improving lives and public safety.

The critical support of OSF and our partners will allow CSH to aggressively pursue our vision to create additional policy and resource tools, such as FUSE, that encourage cross-system collaboration and allow innovative responses to complex social problems.


The Courtyard

The first supportive housing development in Indiana addressing the extensive needs of youth aging out of foster care is now successfully operating. The Fort Wayne Housing Authority and Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of America (“SAFY”), a leading national nonprofit organization that provides services for youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, have partnered with SCAN, Inc., a social service organization whose sole mission is to eliminate the abuse and neglect of children through family services, education, and community partnerships, and Biggs Property Management, to build The Courtyard. SAFY led a team through the CSH/Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority Indiana Permanent Supportive Housing Institute. CSH will also provide ongoing technical assistance.

The Courtyard provides housing and supportive services to accommodate the needs of individuals between the ages of 18-25 who are transitioning out of foster care, experiencing homelessness or at the risk of homelessness. This development provides affordable housing to young adults who may have no other options, but also offers supportive services to the residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These supportive services include, but are not limited to, health and wellness issues as well as career and job development. The complex offers state-of-the-art training areas, arts and crafts labs, a fitness center, educational and employment training programs, a commercially-equipped training kitchen, and a large urban garden.

Kevan Biggs, owner of Biggs Property Management, says The Courtyard is providing opportunities for these young adults that they have never experienced before. “Their eyes just light up the first time they see [their unit]. They can’t believe the whole thing is all theirs.”

Biggs Property Management got involved with The Courtyard project not only because they are experienced in affordable housing, but also because they were aware of the need for this kind of project in Indiana. “Once we realized the epidemic with the foster population and how little resources they have, we felt compelled to help,” Biggs said.

The Courtyard has received excellent support from the community. Funding for this development came through local sources such as the City of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, as well as funding from IHCDA and the City of Fort Wayne including the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) program, Community Development Block Grant Disaster funding, HOME, NSP Program, and also gap financing from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.

In the last year, The Courtyard has done so well that the Fort Wayne Housing Authority was awarded the NCRC Housing Achievement Award for Affordable Housing Program of the Year on behalf of their efforts with this development.

CMS Issues Bulletin on Using Medicaid for Supportive Services

CMSThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an Informational Bulletin intended to assist states in designing Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid reimburses for certain housing-related activities, with the goal of promoting community integration for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS), and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Consistent with statute, CMS/CMCS can assist states with coverage of certain housing-related activities and services.

Read the full CMS/CMCS Informational Bulletin here.

For more information on how states are currently using Medicaid in supportive housing, see CSH’s four new resources, released earlier this month.

Read our joint statement with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

OrgCode, Community Solutions & CSH Launch Next Step Tool for Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth, or Next Step Tool, integrates the TAY Triage Tool, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through research by Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California, with the VI-SPDAT, created by Community Solutions and OrgCode Consulting, Inc.

The TAY Triage Tool predicts which youth are most likely to experience long-term homelessness, essentially on a trajectory to becoming chronically homeless adults. The VI-SPDAT helps understand current vulnerabilities and risks to future housing stability, in order to support youth in ending their homelessness.

The Next Step Tool carefully merges all of these tested ideas together. Through a closed-ended survey where youth provide a yes, no or one-word answer, service providers have a better understanding of the intensity of supports to begin with when supporting the youth.  You can download the Next Step Tool at http://www.orgcode.com/product/vi-spdat/


The Youth SPDAT

To complement the launch of the Next Step Tool, OrgCode has also created a modified version of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for use specifically with youth. The Youth SPDAT was developed based on feedback from many communities using the SPDAT who identified the need for a complete assessment tool that emphasized the unique issues faced by homeless youth.

You can download the Youth SPDAT at http://www.orgcode.com/product/spdat/


CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool

The CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool – A Tool to Identify Homeless Transition Age Youth Most in Need of Supportive Housing – can be accessed directly here.